About 1,600 applications were made to the National Reserve for 2022, a significant increase compared to the 2018-2021 period.
The average number of applications during this period was around 850 per year.
The figures were released at a recent meeting of the Advisory Committee on Direct Payments with the Department of Agriculture.
Under the National Reserve, in 2021 740 farmers – including 678 young farmers – received an average allocation of payment entitlements of EUR 5,460. In addition, 5,129 young farmers received an average of €2,270 in payment bonuses in 2021 under the Young Farmer Scheme.
To accommodate this increased demand, a linear cut of approximately 0.6% will be imposed on all payment entitlements in 2022.
IFA deputy Brian Rushe said while the IFA was very clear on the need for a national reserve for young farmers in 2022 and beyond, he said that imposing an additional linear cut on existing entitlements was unacceptable to farmers.
Rushe claimed the main reason for the surge in demand was most likely the removal of the €40,000 non-farm income ceiling that was mandated before 2022.
“Irish farmers have made a very positive contribution to young farmers in terms of funding and allocation of additional entitlements through the National Reserve. However, this move allows people who do not have agriculture as their primary source of income to secure entitlements at the expense of those who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods,” he said.
IFA Rural Development Chair Michael Biggins said a linear cut, no matter how small, to fund the National Reserve is another cut to be endured by farmers who have already faced cuts under the current CAP and who are facing more Reductions are faced next CAP.
“The Department of Agriculture has previously explained to the committee that unused funds from the Young Farmer Scheme could fund the National Reserve for 2022. The IFA reiterated that any cut is unacceptable and unused funds from the Young Farmer Scheme and other schemes must be used to fund the Reserve,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/schemes/surge-in-applications-for-national-reserve-as-income-limit-removed-41885434.html Increase in National Reserve applications removed as income limit